To any fans clamoring for a solo album from him, Korn bandleader Jonathan Davis humbly apologizes. He conceived his new world-music-influenced foray Black Labyrinth a full decade ago; he sighs, fully intending to release it at the time. “But then shit happened – I pushed the record back because I always had to keep the Korn train rolling,” he explains. “That’s what the managers wanted, and I never had any free time.” With writing sessions just beginning for the next group project, he saw his opportunity to finish and release the disc, then mount a comprehensive lone-wolf tour behind it. He has other works in progress, too – a jungle/black-metal mashup with his pal Paul from sinister French ensemble Phuture Doom, a dubstep-edgy recording, and even some unapologetically pop material. He can’t help it – he’s just always composing music, regardless of genre. “But I wanted to put out the one that was nearest and dearest to my heart, and that was Black Labyrinth,”’ he says. As heard on ethereal flagship singles “Everyone” and “What It Is,” “This record is some dope shit, and I can only compare it to vintage Peter Gabriel. There’s nothing else in the Korn catalog that sounds even remotely like it because I didn’t want to do a Steve Perry/”Oh Sherry” thing, which might as well have been a Journey song. This is a completely different thing than Korn, and something I’m really, really proud of.”
ILLINOIS ENTERTAINER: Last time we spoke, you had just had what you termed ‘an awakening,’ where you started living a healthier life. How’s that going?
JONATHAN DAVIS: I’m still there. It’s past the awakening – it’s just everyday life for me now. I’m just happy in my life, with nothing but healthy things around me, and I’m learning at 47 years old how to deal with life’s obstacles in a healthy way. And I’ve had a lot of obstacles thrown in my path, like everybody in life. But I’m dealing with them well, so I feel good about myself. So I’m eating clean, with no fluoride – fluoride is a neurotoxin, and they put it in the water to make you dumb. And when I had that awakening was when I started smoking weed for the first time, so I’m just way more aware of healthy things now. Overall, I’m just a different person than I was back then.
IE: On an ordinary healthy day, you wake up and…then what?
JD: My day begins with me usually at my studio or my house – it depends which one because I have a place where I sleep at my studio if I’ve come to the studio at night. But I’ll work out and just do general cardio stuff, because I’m an old man now, and I want to be able to play like I’m 20, and the only way that’s going to happen is if I keep staying active. So then I’ll just work on some music or work around the studio. And then I get my kid from school, and we come back to either the house or the studio, and we play video games, or we break out the Nerf guns because I’m basically a 14-year-old kid at heart. And I’ve set my life up that way. Then we go home, eat dinner, then I go to sleep, and I do this over and over again. And I’m a vampire – I’m up all night, usually until 6:00 or 7:00 in the morning. That’s my routine when I’m at home – it’s different when I’m on the road.
IE: But, you’re a big believer in conspiracy theories, like chemtrails?
JD: So far, yeah. Ever since I first started looking around, I’ve believed in chemtrails, and I do believe that there’s more going on out there than meets the eye. But who’s to say for sure? There are so many false flags now; I can’t keep up with it anymore. And I do believe that they’re trying to dumb us down, but what are they trying to dumb us down from? What is the ultimate goal? Why don’t they want to tell us stuff? Is it that we’re not alone in the universe or something? Would that just blow up the whole theory of religion and everything we’ve been taught? In my opinion, we’re human beings, and we should come together as one, as a whole, not under some New World Order, which I used to find intriguing. I would read all the stories, and I really got into it, but it’s all just noise to me now. And I loved Alex Jones, but he’s gone kind of batshit crazy. But in my life now, what does it even matter? How is it even affecting me anymore? So I’ve pulled back on conspiracy theories – I’m just living my own peaceful life, and I’ve stopped worrying about all that shit.
IE: Was Black Labyrinth written about any specific theory?
JD: It was written before I even started my journey of awakening, and it was coming from my subconscious to wake me up, to open my eyes to what was really going on. I was writing about my hatred of religion….well, I won’t say ‘hatred.’ I just don’t like what it does to people, because religion is about assimilation, where you have to go out and recruit every kind of person, and there’s no other way to do it – you have to do it this way. There’s a lot on the record about me coming to grips with things like that in my life. The song “What It Is” is about, “Hey – the only way you’re going to get through life and stop hurting is to stop running from your problems. You’ve got to face them head on and figure out a solution or walk away.” So making the record was kind of a journey.
IE: How so?
JD: Well, it’s all tied together by this thing called the Ganzfeld Experiment, where you put two ping pong balls over your eyes, listen to white noise, and stare at a red screen. When you’re about 20 minutes to a half hour in, you start getting crazy hallucinations and visuals. And everybody has different reactions – some people have out-of-body experiences, some see crazy shapes, it just depends on your brain. How it works is, you’re depriving your brain of all stimuli – it can’t see or hear – so it’s like a giant black IMAX screen, a void. Then, all of a sudden, your brain starts tripping out. I, myself, started seeing shapes – it was really cool. I’m going to another one soon and [will] stay in longer to just see what happens. So everything on Black Labyrinth is based around that – the artwork, the videos. The Ganzfeld Experiment was just something I stumbled across, but people have been doing it for a long time. But it’s all part of the grand design. Or we may all be part of a computer simulation – I don’t know. But I’m just going to have fun on my journey. I don’t give a fuck anymore – I just want to have an enjoyable life.
– Tom Lanham
Read more at Illinois Entertainer